Friday, April 18, 2008

Church of OMG, Whatever, Etc.

Please allow me this brief and (I promise) only delve into the sticky, icky, don't-even-go-there world of religion.

I was raised a Catholic. But not just any Catholic, an Irish, Roman Catholic. I grew up amidst rosary beads, loud family members, and Stations of the Cross. I went to Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and a Catholic college. I wore a Catholic school girl's uniform every day until I was 17. And I liked it. No, I loved it.

Gradually though, as I assume many people do -- especially Catholics -- I began to shed elements of my assigned faith. I rejected Catholic dogma. I stopped going to Confession. At some point (I can't even remember when) I stopped praying. Then I only went to Church to please my parents and grandparents. Then I stopped going at all. Plus let's face it, that new pope is freaking creepy.

As it turns out, I don't really believe in anything Catholic anymore. I assume my ideas align more with Quakers or Buddhists. But when questioned, I usually answer that I am Catholic. Habit, I suppose?

It's a good thing my grandmother doesn't know how to use a computer because it's possible she'd be sent to the hospital after reading this. Or if my grandfather knew what a blog was, I'd be the one sent to the hospital. And I'm pretty sure that my uncle is already praying for the salvation of my tarnished soul anyway, so he probably wouldn't be too surprised.

But I'd rather be uncertain, allowing my thoughts on spirituality to continuously evolve than to follow the faith I was born into without question. With so much knowledge of other cultures, beliefs, and facts, I don't understand how people can't question. I think they should.

In fact, when Barack Obama stated last week that he felt that small-town citizens, embittered over economic circumstances "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them," I think he was right.

Perhaps his words were ill-chosen, but they were frighteningly close to the truth. What about people who cling to the religion they were brought up with, because they are afraid/unwilling/disinterested to look beyond?

Religion shouldn't be a weapon, but we all know it is. Wasn't the purpose of faith to make everyone nice? To run around in open fields and make daisy chains for each other? To bake cupcakes and draw little hearts on them with pink icing?

Today we've got people swinging nunchucks and shooting Bibles and blowing up Korans and damning the gays/straights/liberals/abortionists/blacks/whites/purples/your mom. Chill the fuck out.

So naturally, when a coworker sent me a link to the Belief-O-Matic (your beliefs, INSTANTLY! And SHINY! With LIGHTS and WHISTLES), I took the quiz. I'm not promoting rejecting your current faith to adopt one that an Internet site assigns you (don't be a retard), but it is an interesting look into what you might actually believe.

And who doesn't love taking Internet quizzes while you're at work? My top three results were Unitarian Universalism (100%), Liberal Quakers (96%), and Theravada Buddhism (90%). Roman Catholic finished 26th of 27th, sorry Mommom.

Whadja get?

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